Sian Mehrtens

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Madagascar presidential election: voters hope for end to political turmoil

Madagascar is holding its first presidential election since outgoing leader Andry Rajoelina came to power in 2009 in a military-backed takeover.<p>Since then, the country has been increasingly isolated by the international community: cut off from foreign aid; failing to attract investors; and …

Tunisia: talks begin on resolving political crisis

Crisis talks have begun in Tunisia between the ruling Islamist party and its opponents.<p>Mediators hope the negotiations will bring an end to the political paralysis that has gripped the country since the killing of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi in July.<p>The government, led by moderate Islamist party …

Japan protests over South Korea drill on disputed islands

Islands disputed by two Asian neighbours are at the centre of a fresh flare-up of tension.<p>South Korea has flexed its military muscles, staging a defence drill to drive back any foreign landings from the outcrop it calls Dokdo. This has outraged rival claimant Japan. Tokyo has formally protested, …

Saudi government warns women not to defy driving 'ban'

If Saudi women defy a ban to get behind the wheel on Saturday, they will be punished, the government has warned.<p>Though laws do not explicitly forbid women from driving, they are not issued licenses. The Kingdom is the only country in the world not to allow women behind the wheel.<p>The campaign known …

More protests in Brazil as new transport plan is announced

Further protests have flared up in Brazil following an announcement about a new transport plan for its largest city.<p>Masked protesters attacked up to fifteen ATM machines and four banks in Sao Paulo in a protest over the high cost of local travel services.<p>Police responded with tear gas, causing the …

Georgian presidential candidates set out their election goals

The Caucasus republic of Georgia turns a political page this Sunday with a presidential election that will mark the end of a chapter under outgoing reformist President Mikheil Saakashvili.<p>The front-runner is philosopher Georgy Margvelashvili, 44, a confidant of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, …

Clashes between M23 rebels and DR Congo army

Fighting has erupted in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between M23 rebels and the army.<p>It comes after peace talks broke down following two months of negotiations.

Pakistan alleged to have endorsed US drone strikes

In the same week UN experts called for greater transparency on US drone strikes, it has been revealed that top Pakistani officials have been secretly endorsing the programme for a number of years.<p>The news broke in US newspaper The Washington Post. It has allegedly been leaked confidential Central …

Czech Republic swings to the left - election opinion polls

After three months without a proper administration, opinion polls suggest that the Czech Republic will vote the left-wing Social Democrats into power.<p>The outcome will see an elected government formed for the first time since June, when the previous administration, a centre-right coalition, …